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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What Do "Operation: Annihilate!" and Central AZ Have In Common?

Here in Arizona we had a rare, mild (and truthfully, weird) June. But the heat has come on like gangbusters in July. It averaged about 112 both last weekend and this one. And I've noticed something this last couple of weekends.

I think at one time we've all jokingly (or perhaps not so jokingly) felt we lived among aliens (for those of you who are really lost you might feel like you are the alien. 8-) 8-). Well now I know it's true. Because the last two weekends, when I have had occasion to exit my home and head to my car I noticed something.

In Star Trek (I'm talking Original Series, as that's the only Star Trek I acknowledge) there is an episode called "Operation: Annihilate!" In it, these creatures take over the planet's inhabitants. The creatures were small, what I alway called "bloody pancakes" and attached themselves to the victim's body, their tentacles attaching to and wrapping around the central nervous system, thereby enabling the creature to force the victim to do whatever it commanded or drive them insane with pain.

My beloved Spock was also a victim of one of these attacks.

Anyway, it turns out the creatures were sensitive to light, so any time Kirk & company beamed to the planet's surface there was absolutely no one out and about - the people, all taken over by the creatures, stayed in the shadows during the daylight hours to protect the creatures.

Well that's exactly what it's like when you walk outside in an Arizona community when it's 112 degrees out - we may not have been attacked by bloody pancakes, but we are all hiding in the shadows trying to wait out the heat.

The resemblance is quite eerie.

It's the same Twilight Zone experience I get when I'm writing a scene in one of my historical novels - when I am completely immersed in 1860's Arizona, with horses, wagons, etc, and then get the shock of my life when I step outside my home and am confronted with the odd sounds of cars whizzing up and down the road with horns honking. It's very jolting.

In either case, I love the break from reality, whether it's forgetting about cars and pollution or hiding in the shadows pretending it's not well over 100 degrees outside (I am always promptly brought back to reality every month when the electric bill comes and with it the stark reality).

But it makes me think. What a tremendous blessing that God gave us creative minds. What a wondrous thing to be able to conjure up worlds unlike our own whether in time or place or both. One of the many blessings we take for granted.

But we shouldn't be surprised by this gift of God. After all, he is our Creator.

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